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My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.


You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

ULA successfully launches Landsat 9

Capitalism in space: Using its Atlas-5 rocket ULA today successfully launched Landsat 9, built by Northrop Grumman.

At the time of writing, the rocket and payload are in orbit and in a 60-minute coast phrase prior to payload deployment.

This was only the third launch this year by ULA, tying them with Rocket Lab but still too few launches to make the leader board. The leaders in the 2021 launch race remains the same:

33 China
23 SpaceX
15 Russia
4 Northrop Grumman

The U.S. now leads China 35 to 33 in the national rankings. In 2020 the U.S. completed 40 launches total, the most since 1968. At the moment there are sixteen more U.S. launches scheduled for launch in 2021. If all occur as planned, that would make 51 launches, making ’21 the fifth best launch year for the U.S. ever, exceeded only by four years in the mid-1960s.

For ULA, the low number of launches so far this year continues a slow downward trend since 2014, when the company completed fourteen launches. ULA still has four launches listed for ’21, but one, the unmanned Starliner demo launch, is likely to get delayed till ’22. The dates of two other launches remain “too-be-determined”, which also makes them questionable.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

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